Rachel Awtrey

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What the dwell are you doing?

 
 

The most intimidating part of life for me is wondering if I'm doing the "right" thing. I'm not talking about making the right decisions but I'm talking about meeting the benchmarks set by the world's standards. I often ask myself, "Wait, they're applying for jobs? Shoot! I got to start applying too, I guess" or the super frequent, "they're spending that much time studying, or doing ministry, or working out? I'm way behind." 

I'm thinking all of these things in fear; fear of being judged and fear of not being where "I'm suppose to be." 

What does that even mean? "Suppose to be." Who is the person setting the standards for what's normal these days? I'd like to meet them.

There's so much pressure on us to finish the checklist set before us. But, what checklist? Who's actually putting the pressure on you? Do they know the deep desires of your heart? Do they know the intimate prayers between you and the Lord and know His calling on your life? 

I can't tell you how many looks I get a day when people see my wedding band while I'm in my undergrad classes or buying groceries. It's because it's not "normal." Sure, it's not "normal" but it doesn't mean it's not right. It doesn't mean that my ways of obedience look the same as your ways of obedience. This leads to hesitation that if we are obedient in what the Lord is calling us to do then maybe we'll be judged or people will think poorly of us because it's not what they would have done. 

The pressure we put on ourselves to achieve a benchmark the world has set for us is not Biblical. Obedience carries freedom, even if your ways of obedience looks different than her ways of obedience. There's freedom in knowing that we don't have to orchestrate our desires, future or benchmarks. 

Already having affirmation from the Lord and then needing to have more affirmation from people to move forward into what we're called is a slap in Jesus's face. It's saying, "Your voice isn't loud enough so I need other's confirmation just to make sure. The affirmation you gave me on the cross that I was enough isn't enough for me." Yikes. 

Then there's sometimes when I know that the direction I'm moving is not the direction for me. But, I'm too fearful of failure to mess up if I head in another direction that's more uncomfortable or unfamiliar. 

My favorite movie growing up was Matilda. The one where the little girl was tormented by her parents who didn't want anything to do with her. She then realized she had magic powers and that she could move things with her eyes. Unfortunately that doesn't apply to me. 

My soul sister, Nikki, reminded me: in order to make something change directions, you have to move it first not just stare at it. You can't look at a soccer ball, mid-game and tell it to move towards the goal and expect it to happen. You have to get on the field, kick the ball, get it moving, and then you have the ability to change it's direction. For you, getting the ball rolling may look like taking the MCAT or the LSAT or the GRE or getting an internship, or interviewing for a job, or writing a blog - all are validated. 

I'm not sure if I'm called to a writing career and publishing a book (one of my dreams) or to sit in an office and come up with creative marketing solutions for companies or if it's to teach a crowd of young kids in a classroom. But what I do know is I can only start moving my soccer ball from the field, I'll never be able to have a say from the bench. So I better get in the game if I have a goal in mind.

Do what you love to do, the Lord doesn’t give you empty desires (as my friend Ana reminds me). If you have a desire, who is to tell you it's not valid. If it's not valid, it wouldn't exist. The Lord was so gracious to give us so many avenues for creativity and glorification for Him. 

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what's on our resume, what our job title is or what plaques hang on our walls in our office. We're called to love the Lord “with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." Matthew 22:37

And loving the Lord with all of our mind means turning over everything we know or anything we think we know to Him and giving him the opportunity to speak into what we love. Before we identify as a student, assistant, doctor or lawyer, we are first called to identify as ambassadors for His Kingdom, not our kingdom. Everything else is a cherry on top. 

You don’t have to know what you’re doing or what tomorrow holds. It’s a healthy place to be fluid and flexible and to listen to what the Lord is saying in this current season and not dwelling on the unknown. 

So whatever your choice: a gap year, entry-level position, law or med school, creating a portfolio or writing a blog about all the silly things you love, it’s all validated if you are first dwelling and resting in the Lord rather than dwelling on the “right choice." Just make a decision, you can't mess anything up. That's where grace comes in. 

I may not know my future but I know what I like to do. I know I like to write about anything. Dumb stuff like pouring coffee or roaming random places with Thomas or heavier stuff that makes me sweat and my heart beat really quickly and my fingers move faster on my keyboard than I knew was possible (like right now.) So I'm going to continue chasing after the desire that the Lord placed in the deep parts of my heart and find encouragement in the satisfaction I find when I pursue what the Lord has gifted me with. 

Yeah, so I don't know what the dwell I'm doing right now but I'm choosing to move forward, to take a step in faith and not in fear. No more fear of what people think or if I'm following "the rules."

Who wrote those rules anyways? Pshhhh.

Feeling trapped? Dance to one of my favorite songs and shake all the chains off. 

 
 

1. Get your ball rolling and just move forward and believe that you're not powerful enough to mess up the Lord's orchestrated plan for your life. 

2. Stop leaning on the worlds understandings for what is for you. 

3. Truly examine your passions and your seasons and have full confidence in the Lord instead of yourself to complete these dreams and aspirations.